iPad Pro as remote, any benefit over Air?

Hi all,

I’m looking at getting a refurb full sized iPad to replace my current mini as a Roon remote. There are both 11’ first gen iPad Pro and 4th gen Air available at a reasonable price now.

My question is, does Roon benefit from either the additional performance cores (is it highly multi-tasking) or the 120Hz screen of the Pro - or are these of no benefit for this particular use? If these provide tangible improvements then it is worth the risk that the Pro might fall out of support in a few years - otherwise I’ll go for the newer device with arguably lower spec.

Note that I’m not looking to use the iPad as an endpoint, just browser/remote.

Any experience you can provide would be great, thanks.

Ian

I have an air and it works just fine.

I expect the longer support window of the newer device is more valuable than the other benefits.

Although the iPad I needed to retire because it wouldn’t run newer software is still working well as a dedicated roon controller!

The 120Hz display is worth it alone. Plus the pro speakers are way better than the air if you choose to use them.

Three answers:

  1. Either the iPad Pro or the iPad Air will work great as a Roon remote.

  2. The audiophile answer: just buy the latest, the largest and most expensive iPad available, since is more expensive is always better.

  3. The non-audiophile answer: buy an inexpensive Amazon Fire HD 10 (10 Plus) tablet, which work great as Roon remotes.

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I got an Air 4th Gen pre-owned, initially to use as remote only, but find myself increasingly using it as endpoint too and have since acquired various dongle DAC’s & IEM’s for that very purpose.

One thing to note… Occasionally the Roon app will lagg or freeze in landscape mode for a moment, when switching from portrait to landscape or back. Something I haven’t noticed on my Andriod devices.

As for refresh rate, 120Hz is nice, but I don’t really notice a significant difference, unless when going straight from the Air (60Hz) to a device with 120Hz display. I would personally not get an older Gen Pro just for 120Hz when use case is purely as Roon remote. YMMV. :slightly_smiling_face:

If it’s for an “armchair remote” then go big :joy:

My mini was dying so I went 12.9 pro , the UI is magnificent

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The other advantage of the pro is Face ID, no more pressing buttons to access things.
Some people don’t like it but I prefer it over Touch ID.

I have an iPad Mini 6th Gen and iPad 8th Gen. They both work well as Roon remotes. I would not pay for anything more expensive unless needed for other functions besides Roon.

iPad Pro 11” Gen 1 here and happy as a clam. I use it day in day out outside the house and inside for just about everything I need. Only at my desk I have a MBP 15” with 55” 4K tv as a monitor.

Roon moves the os needs up now and again…currently iOS 11 iirc

I don’t think a faster iPad makes any difference for use as a Roon remote. Maybe it makes a difference with massive libraries? I doubt it though. I use a 4 year old base model iPad and it works fine.

Bigger screens are nicer, but you have to decide if that’s worth it to you. The downsides of getting an older iPad is you have a shorter support window. For example, I have another older iPad which won’t run Roon 2.0, so I’m using it just a as Roon Display.

That applies if you use the iPad for multiple things. I use the “guided access” iOS feature which lets you lock the iPad down to just the Roon app. In this configuration, you don’t need to authenticate with TouchID/FaceID to unlock.

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True to your title :slight_smile:

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In the Windows remote you can jump to a specific list item simply by typing without selecting anything. E.g., in the album view if it is sorted by artist, typing DYL takes you directly to Dylan. (Same in the artist view of course). AFAIK it’s the same on macOS.

However, on Android this does not work. Instead you have to scroll, at least when no keyboard is attached.

I don’t know how this is on iPad with/without a keyboard, but it would be an important criteria for me when choosing iPad vs Air

Thanks to everyone who pitched in. In the end I’ve gone for a refurb gen 2 pro as it was only a bit more expensive (still less than the new iPad 10) and should have a bit more longevity (more memory and ‘disk’). Should be here later today :blush:

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Correct me if I am wrong…I thought ipadOS can’t be used as Roon core?
If not correct how do I make my ipad pro into a Roon core?
Thanks in advance

You can’t. It runs Roon Remote.

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Just buy the most expensive Ipad with the biggest screen.

Seriously, this is not a joke, currently I use a M1 16” macbook pro as a Roon remote, and I wouldn’t pick anything else.

As I said.

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I have both an M1 iPad Air 11” and a Fire HD10. I love my iPad, but have to admit the HD10 is just less laggy - less temporary screen freezes, less “oops the screen changed and I hit a button I didn’t mean to”. Doesn’t mean that I don’t use the iPad - of course I do. But since I took the advice of a number of people here and got a few strategically placed HD10s in dedicated cradles, with Roon app pinned, well it’s been much much better. Not a multi-use device, but that’s the point. $75 on early Black Friday, $65 renewed (if you’re in the US). I’m a huge apple ecosystem fan, don’t get me wrong. MacBook, AppleTV, Apple Watch, etc. But the HD10 has ‘em beat. Put one on my desk even though I have the Roon app on my MacBook - it’s just easier to have an inexpensive dedicated device.

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